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MPs ponder Which? proposals for equity release

The Treasury select committee will decide in the next few weeks whether the Which? plan for a Government-led equity-release scheme is a viable proposition.

The consumer body has submitted preliminary proposals to the committee although it has still to determine details such as rates.

It wants the Government to help finance and take the lead in a not-for-profit initiative to be run by a local authority or charity.

Which? published a damning report into the equity-release market in January and remains convinced that the industry is incapable of servicing the entire market.

Principal policy adviser Mick McAteer says: “We do not think the retail market will be able to provide equity release to those on lower incomes. We are not criticising the industry, it is just that it could be done by other means than what is available at the moment.”

Key Retirement Solutions business development director Dean Mirfin says: “The problem with the Which? idea is that it is a good way for the Government to push people towards equity release and away from benefits.”

A Pink Home Loans survey has revealed that 38 per cent of mortgage brokers are involved in equity release while 29 per cent say they would consider entering the market, despite fears about a lack of involvement byintermediaries.

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